The ultimate Christmas turkey guide

Planning to do a roast turkey this Christmas? Follow our foolproof guide to create your best-ever festive feast.  

How to choose a turkey

From feeding a crowd to a fuss-free option follow our guidelines for the perfect turkey on Christmas day.

Feeding a crowd? 

If you’re feeding a crowd this Christmas, a whole turkey is the way to go. A Coles RSPCA Approved Australian Whole Turkey makes an impressive Christmas centrepiece. It’s marinated to help the meat stay tender and juicy, plus it’s all natural and never frozen for top-quality results. Coles turkeys are available in small, medium, large and extra large to suit any crowd.

A whole roasted turkey with potato wedges and greens

Looking for a fuss-free option?

For convenience and ease of cooking, you can’t go past Coles RSPCA Approved Australian Turkey Breast Buffet. This cut is faster to cook than a whole turkey, and it’s easy to carve and serve. The turkey breast buffet is marinated for tender meat with maximum flavour, plus the leftovers are great in salads and sandwiches. These cuts are available to buy in small and medium.

Thinly sliced turkey breast buffet with greens

Creating a deluxe Christmas feast?

Farmed in the picturesque Hunter Valley region in NSW, renowned for its high-quality produce, the Coles Finest Free Range Hunter Valley Turkey is your pick for a deluxe Christmas feast. Available in medium, large and extra large, the turkey is marinated in a mixture of herbs and sea salt for an irresistibly juicy, delicious result. Plus, like all Coles Australian turkey, this crowd-pleasing pick is RSPCA Approved.

A whole herbs and sea salt marinated turkey

How long to cook a turkey

Whole turkey

  Small Medium Large Extra large
 Serves* Small10-12 Medium12-14 Large14-16 Extra large16-20
 Cooking time Small2 3/4 hours Medium3 hours Large3 1/2 hours Extra large3 3/4

Turkey buffet

  Small Medium
 Serves* Small8-10 Medium10-12
 Cooking time Small2 3/4 hours Medium3 1/2 hours

*Serves are approximate and are based on edible portions only.

How to prep a turkey

Follow our tips for prepping your Christmas turkey.

How to truss the turkey

For crispy skin and tasty, tender meat, tie legs together with kitchen string. Tuck the wings under turkey to expose the breast.

Tie turkey legs together

How to crisp up the skin

For crispy skin and tasty, tender meat, brush all over with a mix of butter and chopped herbs – this keeps the meat juicy, too.

Brush the turkey with butter and chopped herb mixture

Fail-safe stuffing tips

Adding stuffing to a turkey can affect cooking time. To help make sure your turkey cooks through, bring both the stuffing and turkey to room temperature just before stuffing and cooking, and only stuff the neck cavity.

A dish of stuffing

Try this recipe

Go all out with Curtis Stone’s roast turkey. It’s teamed with a tasty mustard-peppercorn gravy. 

How to carve a turkey

Serve up your turkey like a true expert with Curtis Stone's top carving tips.

Get a good grip

For even slicing, use a carving fork to keep the turkey steady, then use a sharp, heavy knife to slowly and evenly cut through the meat.

Cutting the turkey meat

Add some gravy

Turkey has a bit of a reputation for drying out. To avoid this, pour a little of the gravy over the carved meat before serving to guests.

Add gravy to the roasted turkey

Turkey leftovers recipe ideas

Turn tasty leftovers into a zesty salad. Top cooked rice noodles with shredded turkey, sliced cucumber, carrot, mango and chilli. Sprinkle with mint and coriander. Drizzle with an Asian-style dressing.

Turkey leftover with zesty salad